These Azaleas Are Blooming Now

Autumn Ivory is the best of the white Encore azaleas

Autumn Sunset in bloom at my local nursery

I always enjoy visiting nurseries every chance I get. Just ask my wife. This past Saturday, I was visiting a local small garden center, and imagine my delight to see fresh, Encore azaleas in bloom. Today at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens I noticed the ones at the library entrance in bloom, too. I think of all the numerous Encore types, the autumn series seems to do the best in our area especially if you expect spring, summer, and fall flowering. The cool thing about these azaleas is that they have the same requirements as the spring flowering types. They like filtered shade, fertile, well drained, organic soil, fertilization after flowering, and watering during dry periods. I really like to mulch them with pine straw, too. Notice I said fertilization after flowering, which typically means three times a year if they bloom in all three seasons as advertised. So if you want to buy some at your local nursery now go ahead, but make sure they are planted in the right cultural conditions. I would fertilize even the newly planted ones with 15-0-15 after they finish blooming, but lightly if it is a new planting.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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